Despite the name of the series, The Manny is the story of Jimena more than anyone else. We expected a predictable plot when we heard the name, and that is exactly what we got; however, the saving grace is that all of the characters are written as real, complicated people and are given enough depth to support the story. The following is a recap of how The Manny changes the lives of this family.
What is Jimena’s family situation?
Jimena is separated from her husband, Joaquin, and is taking care of her three kids by herself. She is also running for president of the company, which places her in direct competition with her cousin, Rogelio. Jimena’s three kids are a handful, and all the nannies have been scared away by them. At last, having no choice, she hires a male nanny named Gabriel, who seems to instantly get along with the kids. Jimena’s hunch turns out to be true, and soon enough, Gabriel becomes an indispensable part of the household. The only problem is that Jimena and he have a crush on each other.
Jimena’s family is the typical ‘trying to be progressive’ family, though luckily, people’s hearts are in the right places, and healthy discussions are able to dispel most prejudices. As for Jimena herself, she has still not gotten a divorce from Joaquin because of their history of constantly breaking up and getting back together again and again. The same thing happens this time, and Jimena finds that she wants her family back, which makes her give Joaquin a chance. However, Jimena eventually comes to the realization that he may be a good man who tries his best, but he doesn’t understand her the right way, and neither does he know how to stand by her. That is when she finally gets a divorce from him.
As we said, Joaquín is a good man who loves his children. But his children don’t love his girlfriend, Mich, and they try to sabotage her work, which makes her break up with him. Seeing his state, the children realize their mistake, and they make efforts to set things right between them, which also leads to Joaquin proposing to Mich. When it comes to the three kids, Santiago and Sofia are constantly fighting, but they watch each other’s backs. Sofia helps him with his troubles with his girlfriend, and it is because of her that Santiago realizes that he can do better than Tania. On the other hand, Santiago is protective of Sofia and guides her through some of her emotional hurdles with the help of his parents. Meanwhile, Leo is a sweetheart who completely loves all the adults in his life.
How does Jimena realize her love for Gabriel?
Jimena’s biggest problem in life is that she is struggling to survive in a man’s world. Her father is constantly testing her, and she has to deal with a hundred sexist jibes in a day, intentional or not. Amidst all this, her crush on Gabriel is getting stronger. Jimena knows that if she asks anyone for help, it is automatically assumed that she is weak because she is a woman. That is why she feels the pressure of doing everything by herself. Throughout the series, the question of a man in her life has dominated everything else. The board of the company, her father, Rogelio, and finally, even Joaquin (briefly) kept questioning her priorities because of her family. One day, when Jimena hurts herself, her father offers to take some work off her hands, but Jimena knows that this is coming from a sexist perspective. But the next day, she overhears a conversation between Gabriel and her kids, where he tells them that true love helps one become the best version of themselves. Jimena cannot deny that she feels her best when she is with Gabriel. Also, he is the only man who can stand by her side without considering her weak. That is why Jimena decides that it is time for her to let go of her inhibitions and give in to her feelings, which is what she does, and she and Gabriel become a couple.
Are Gabriel and Jimena together?
When Jimena discovers that Gabriel is the son of the owner of the ranch that is at the center of Rogelio’s scam, her world comes crashing down. By the time of her discovery, Jimena is aware that the ranch is on the verge of being unfairly seized, and she also knows about the fake company that is scamming them. She understands Gabriel’s situation, but she cannot deny that he has betrayed her trust. Before confronting him, she decides to do a little investigation of her own. Her father gives her two days to gather the evidence against Rogelio, so Jimena sets off to see Gabriel’s ranch, Arracada.
The entire scene is that Gabriel was cast out of the ranch by his father, Julio, because some of his methods had caused them a loss at a crucial time. Gabriel had not given up on the ranch, and he was still trying to save it, which is why he had taken the job with Jimena. What Gabriel finds is that Rogelio has set up a fake company that has stolen the money from the ranches that the owners had paid to cover their debt. Therefore, it looked like their debts weren’t paid, and their ranches were on the verge of being seized. Rogelio planned to pocket the ranches and sell them to the mayor, Navarette, for a minimal sum. This would ensure Navarette’s support for Jimena’s father’s political ambitions.
Rogelio’s reason for doing all this was because he felt he owed it to his uncle, who had taken him in as an orphan and raised him. To meet his uncle’s expectations, Rogelio had also hidden the fact that he was gay and that he probably did not like his job very much. At the ranch, once Jimena comes to know Gabriel’s entire background, she is much more sympathetic towards him. Seeing how he is with her children also convinces her that he is genuine about his feelings. But before the lovebirds could resolve the issues amicably, Julio’s ranch was seized, and he landed in the hospital due to shock.
During The Manny‘s ending, Jimena resolves the entire issue with her father, who gives Julio back his ranch and makes Jimena the president of the company. Rogelio also leaves the company, though it is unclear whether he was fired or if he chose to leave by himself since a scene showed him declining a call from his uncle. By this time, Gabriel knows everything, though he doesn’t know that the ranch is safe. He and Jimena have both lied, and technically, that should cancel each other out. But the thing to remember is that Jimena lied because she was trying to decide whether to forgive Gabriel or not. Gabriel lied for himself and his family. Neither were wrong, and in some ways, both were desperate, but Gabriel says that he cannot be with someone who caused his father to land up in the hospital. This is their breakup, and both of them are heartbroken. However, once Gabriel goes back home, his sister tells him that the ranch is safe, thanks to Jimena. This should be Gabriel’s cue to go back and set things right with her, which is what we expect he did. His godmother had put off the candle that she had lit to manifest their relationship. But the candle lights up once again, signifying that the relationship is not over and Gabriel and Jimena may have gotten back together.
The Manny was a good story, though something about it doesn’t let the audience invest in it too deeply. All of the characters were well sketched out, and even the children were written as reasonable people, which is a new thing. Maybe it would have been more impactful if it had been a few episodes shorter.